Summary: This sermon is designed to inspire and persuade the saints to act in holy and righteous ways, so that that the body of Christ can meet its ultimate destiny.
Thesis: As members of the body of Christ we must learn to understand, protect, rebuke, and forgive one another.
Purpose: To inspire and persuade the saints to act in holy and righteous ways, so that the body of Christ can meet it ultimate destiny.
When one thinks of etiquette, you may think of some sort of training that many of us were not afforded the opportunity to receive. We think of proper English, posture and proper eating habits. My bothers and sisters those things have their place, somewhere. However all those things are man made, and have a tendency to cause one to be burdened and not blessed. Things designed to make us look better on the outside hardly ever do anything to improve our soul. You can put a tuxedo on a pig but he is still a pig, and will waddle in the mud in that tuxedo.
This morning the message is not designed to talk about man made ideas of what is proper and what is not. As a matter of fact, I don’t wish to talk about the “church building” at all. This morning I don’t want to talk about what you should wear, say, do, sing, how you should sit, where you should sit and how long you should sit or sing. For there are many who would take offence to my opinion. So as in all my messages I seek not to come to you in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
The church as you all know is more than a building, but it is a body and a bride. The church is more than a corporation or organization, but more importantly it is a living organism. It is made up of many different kinds of people, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, …etc. However in this diverse community there is one thing the causes all of us to be related, and that is the blood of Jesus Christ. He is the one that paid a debt he did not owe; yet it was a debt we could not pay. He was hung up for our hang-ups. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with His stripes we are healed! The bible clearly states that we are all bought with a price. We no longer belong to ourselves, but we are children of the most high God. So it is my conviction and conclusion that since Jesus died for the church, rose for the church, paid for the church, and is coming back for the church, he has every right to lay down the rules for His Church. For I hear him saying, Upon this rock I will build my church!
As stated earlier church etiquette has nothing to do with the length of your skirt, the color of your hair, the beat of your song, the movement of the choir, whether or not we have drums, but Jesus makes it clear the what is most important in the Church is how we treat one another! Church etiquette is about my relationship with my brother or sister in Christ Jesus. For we must realize that one may have a nice suit, give the most on Men’s Day, know his or her books of the bible, and still die and go to hell. My brothers and sisters it is clear through out scripture that only the Pure in heart shall see God!
In our text today, Jesus instructs His disciples on their relationships with each other. He teaches them about their responsibility to and for one another. In the previous chapters, Jesus has encountered many who object to his teachings. When you study the book of Matthew you can clearly see that Jesus after being rejected became reclusive. Whereas before his rejection he spoke clearly, but now he has began to speak in parables. He no longer speaks to the crowd, but primarily he speaks to those who are a part of His sheepfold. Here in our text we see Jesus talking directly to those who are a part of the Kingdom of God. He teaches them that no matter what happens they are to deal with one another in a certain way.
First, Jesus teaches, in verse one, that we are to understand one another. He says in verse one that offences will come. People will sin. It is interesting that the bible tells us that God knows that we are flesh. The bible says in Psalm 103, and I quote, Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. God remembers that we are made of dust and we are prone to sin, and just as dust we are easily blown away. He tells his disciple who are made of dust to remember this very fact. People are only human, they make mistakes, they fall prey to the enemy, and sometime in the process they offend you.